Manage Your Career Before It Manages You
Is there a secret as to why some individuals have successful careers and others do not? Research shows that abilities or IQ often have no cause and effect relationship. Certainly, a socio-economic background does have a significant association, but no guarantee.
As an executive coach and leadership trainer, I have talked to experienced senior managers and executive about their careers over the two decades. They have shared their experiences, secrets, innermost fears and hopes for the future with me. A constant theme for both high-performing and high-potential experts has been the pitfalls and promises of corporate politics and finding the secrets to career success. Here are some insights I can share that can advance, shape and revamp the careers of managers and executives.
Here are some insights I can share that can advance, shape and revamp the careers of managers and executives.
Take responsibility for managing your own profession
Do not wait until you are fired, burned out, laid off or fed up to revitalize your profession. Manage your career on an ongoing basis, particularly through the good eras. This reflects a belief you should embrace, “Take responsibility for everything that happens in your life.”
When someone talks to you, they will judge or evaluate your worth. Make that conversation worthwhile. Focus on the other person and not yourself.
Focus on your strengths
By strengths, I mean activities that meet the following criteria:
You are great (not only good) at it.
When you are thinking about the task, it makes you excited and anxious.
When you are doing the task, you concentrate on it and get absorbed in the activity, even losing track of time.
Once the task is done, you have more energy than before.
Don’t buy into the workaholic hype
Workaholics overachieve at a cost. Usually, they burn out and never recover or they burn out their other folks. Having a balanced life does not necessarily hinder your productivity. In fact, research shows that time off from work and getting rest time increases productivity.
Self-management is a key ability that will support you throughout your life. It includes setting goals and managing your time. Developing your motivation and concentration will help you overcome the lure of procrastination. Effective self-management will help you avoid stress and offer you more chances to get involved in fun activities.
When we learn to become aware of our primitive and self-destructive thoughts, ideas, beliefs, choices and assumptions, we become more loving, peaceful, and intelligent beings. Not only do we stop suffering, but the individuals in our lives stop responding to our self-imposed misery. Instead, they find more peace. Our thoughts create our reality, which is why these self-awareness activities are so important for us to learn.
Stop being in love with the sound of your own voice
Develop the discipline to listen more than you talk. Watch how often you use the word “I” when you talk.
Never be unemployed, even for a day
If you get fired or laid off, volunteer immediately somewhere for something that puts your abilities to work. The longer you are not meaningfully engaged, whether you are compensated or not, the more this will drain your confidence and energy.
Even if you have all the answers, people do not want to work with you if you continually shove it in their face or show you do not care about them. “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
Under promise and over deliver
The celebrity endorsement, professional athlete hype, and heroic CEO promises of super accomplishments have taken the public into a fantasy world. But kindness, compassion, and selfless service are a powerful combination that has a bigger long-term impact.
Hire a trainer or find a wise person preferably outside of the office to give you advice who will guide you on your fears, hopes, and dreams. Good mentors will also guide you to make good decisions.
The bottom line is that there are or formulas or no magic potions for career success. What you need are constant efforts and insightful strategies much like the focus of successful companies.